The dual calamities of the 14-year civil war and Ebola decimated Liberia’s public education system and student learning. In 2016, children were not attending school, educational infrastructure was crumbling, teachers weren’t showing up for work, and an entire generation was at threat of being left behind.
Less than 20% of schools had solid physical structures
Fewer than 40% of children were in primary school
More than 80% of students were enrolled in grade levels years lower than expected based on their age.
Only 20% of 5th grade girls could read a single sentence
In 2015, President Ellen Sirleaf visited Bridge International Community schools in Kenya, following which Bridge was invited to work in Liberia’s Government schools.
In 2016, the Liberia’s Ministry of Education announced the Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) initiative, an innovative public private partnership designed to transform the public education system and education in Liberia. Education providers with proven track records in delivering high-quality education were paired with public primary schools across Liberia. Bridge Liberia was chosen as one of the first government partners. Following an election and a change of government, the programme was renamed the Liberian Education Advancement Programme (LEAP). Now in Year five, four partners remain in the programme, including Bridge Liberia, the largest and the only partner to deliver statistically significant learning gains and education impact.
The programme was studied as part of a three year randomised control trial (RCT) which was designed to measure whether student learning outcomes improved. The results showed that learning improved significantly. It has now expanded, benefitting hundreds of public schools across the country; including in the hardest to reach areas in the south east.
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